Coming from a generation that feels a twinge of having missed out on watching cult classics on 70 mm; a generation which time and again likes paying homage to Maratha Mandir and gets a high while watching DDLJ on the big screen without making a fuss about sharing space with the lungi-beedi public, technological restorations of the pious films is proving to be a blessing. Hindi cinema’s epic films, Naya Daur and Mughal-e-Azam’s release in colour and their subsequent box office collection vouch for itself. What the public expectantly awaits now is the release of Sholay in 3D. The B-town buzz that started a few months ago about Sholay being released in 3D then looked like a distant dream but is soon to turn into reality. Sholay is all set to grace the theaters once more and with a touch of new-age technology.
Recently, the 3D trailer of Sholay was launched in Mumbai’s PVR Theater. The event saw the two legendary screenwriters – Salim & Javed, sharing the stage once again. The past seemed forgotten as a wave of nostalgia struck a chord between the two. Also present for the event was Pen’s Jayanthilal Gada, G.P. Sippy’s grandson Shasha Sippy and Maya Digital Studio’s Ketan Mehta. We saw the blend of tech and classic with tinge of a refreshing background music once we put on the 3D glasses. With much the same zeal and same enthusiasm a much-deserved round of applause greeted Gabbar Singh’s famous dialogue, “Kitne aadmi the?” or Basanti’s famous takliyakalam “Yun ki yeh koun bola?”
In a tête-à-tête with the media, Salim-Javed reminisced the good’ol days. They touched base on many topics and anecdotes related to the film. “Javed and I did put our names on the posters of the film, going around the town at midnight. It was our way to get credit”. In the yesteryears’, writers weren’t given their due so the duo took a drunk painter along with them at midnight and made him paint their names on the film’s posters. “After seeing the names embedded on the face or hands of the actors, the industry decided that writers must be given space even on the film’s poster.” If the Censor Board had replaced the word Tatya Tope to James Bond (Amitabh Bachchan’s dialogue “Hum James Bond ke potey hai”) it was the writer team that decided to leave the love story of Jai Dev (Amitabh Bachchan) and Radha (Jaya Bachchan) undone. Perhaps, it was owing to the critical issue of widow remarriage or perhaps it was to give an edge to the film’s story by showing an unfulfilled love story, the answer was flipped into a diplomatic reply by Javed Akhtar. In an interesting comeback, Akhtar mentioned jovially that if Sholay was to be remade, he and Salim would be apt for the characters of Jai and Veeru. However, who will don the cloak of Jai and who will get in the skin of Veeru was left to the thoughts of the listeners. In the discussion about the film and their work as a team Salim-Javed enthralled the audience for nearly an hour or two. It is not us who have made the film, it is the film that has made us, Javed Akhtar was heard saying. Talking about the clashes and differences that would arise while working on a project Javed says, “If two like-minded people work on a project, it is of no use as with the same thoughts the work can be accomplished by an individual. People holding the same values but differences on detailings will bring out the best in the project”.
There is no second thought if this film will recreate the Box Office history because it will; 38 years of love showered by the audience on the film does the talking. “Sholay is my love. I started my career in 1989. At that time there used to be lines of people wanting to buy the video cassette of Sholay. When the film released in 1975, there were lines outside the theaters to buy ticket. It ran for over 5 years housefull. I have been licensing various rights of Sholay from 1995 till date and I’ll never forget what the film has given me,” said Gada who is presenting the film.
Although the captain of the ship, director Ramesh Sippy, who has immense affinity for the film, has taken the matter to court yet Gada adheres to the belief that he will soon come on board. Meanwhile, the ardent fans of the film wait the dawn of Jan 3rd, 2014 when the film with a budget of nearly 25 Crores will release in theaters and with a treat of 3D and remixed sounds in Dolby Atmos.